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Basketball Betting Strategy Guide

Basketball Betting Strategy
Placing a bet on a basketball game – easy. Winning a basketball bet – not as easy, but still doable. Being a consistent long-term winner betting on basketball – harder than you think. Wow, what a positive way to start out this basketball betting strategy guide, right?

Well, let us explain a little more. Being a long-term winner on basketball is challenging, but it’s certainly attainable. It requires a mix of hard work, discipline, and the knowledge to know how to build out a winning strategy. In this guide, we’re going to take care of the biggest and toughest part of that equation – the knowledge needed to build a winning strategy.

We’re going to give you everything you need to know to build out your own custom betting strategy to beat the book and win betting on basketball. We’ll begin by showing you where you need to bet, talk about some of the strategic differences between the NBA and college basketball, and then dive right into the tips and strategy you need to become a winning bettor.

You will have to couple this knowledge with some hard work, but we are giving you the keys to the basketball betting castle. Take your time working through this information and make sure you soak up as much of it as possible.

Choose a Good Place to Bet

The number one decision you need to make when getting started betting on basketball is where you’re going to bet. We’ll save you the big build up and reveal of what you should be doing and just give it to you straight. If you’re serious about making money betting basketball, you need to be betting online with a reputable and trusted site.

Betting online allows you to shop lines easily, take advantage of rakeback and bonuses, and give you the most betting flexibility to get the most money out of your predictions. You’ll notice as well that we said reputable and trusted sites. Don’t just join the first sportsbook you see on Google even if they have some super awesome graphics and juicy promotions. Join a site that you know you can trust so that you know your action and your money are safe.

To help get you started (so we can get to the good part of this guide), we’ve compiled a list of the top online sportsbooks offering basketball betting action. Anyone of these sites would be a perfect spot for you to get your action rolling. Check a few of them out and find the one that fits you the best.

1 SportsBetting.ag Logo $1,000
2 BetOnline Logo $2500
3 Bovada Logo $250
4 GTbets Logo N/A

College Basketball vs. NBA Basketball

Most of you that are here are probably looking for basketball betting advice on the NBA or college basketball. While both of these leagues are playing the exact same game with relatively similar skill sets, there are some pretty major differences that you need to be aware of from a sports betting standpoint. Below, we’re going to cover some of these major differences that we think you should be aware of.

Understand Stat Problems with College Basketball

When you’re breaking down an NBA game, you typically have a lot of stats to work with. If a player has been active in the league for at least a year, you have a lot of good information that you can use to help make your predictions. If they’re a rookie and it’s early in the season, you won’t have many NBA stats that you can use on them, but you can always revert back to their college years to at least get a good idea of what you’re working with.

With college basketball, the first part of that equation is the same. If they’ve been playing actively for at least a year or most of a season, you have a good base of stats that you can work with. But, what happens if they are a freshman? Well, you really don’t have a lower level that you can go to in order to get useful statistics. Yes, you could look at their high school years, but the disparity in different high school teams makes those stats pretty worthless. Some players may have come from environments that were much tougher than where other players came from just based on where their high school was located.

Be extremely careful when you’re using statistics for college players. If the stats are only from a few games, then that’s way too small of a sample size to start drawing meaningful conclusions that you can actually use. The thing is, though, stat sites and the news media won’t have a disclaimer tag that says the stat are from a small sample size. It’s up to you to make sure the numbers and information you are using is actually viable.

Know the Coach’s Role and Influence

No matter the level of basketball you’re looking at, the coach is important to the team’s success. But, we would argue that the younger the players are, the more influence the coach is going to have. Once players get older and have grown into their own, they take less direction from the coach and at times operate more on their own accord.

What does this mean from a sports betting standpoint? It means that while the coach is important to consider when betting on the NBA, it is much more important to consider when betting on college basketball. A great coach can help get a team much further than their talent can alone in a game, season, or the NCAA tournament.

Don’t bet against proven coaches in the tournament if you can help it. Their ability to take mediocre teams and get them to perform at the top of their game in high-pressure situations is nothing short of impressive.

Look for Individual Tournaments Within the College Season

It’s always important that you’re aware of the implications of a game before you bet on it. Unfortunately, this is not always clear by just looking at the sportsbook’s list of games to bet on. In the NBA, the regular season is just a collection of games that culminate in the playoffs and then the NBA finals.

But, in college basketball, there are a lot of mini-tournaments throughout the season. While most of these don’t have a direct impact on who makes the tournament, it’s still a matter of pride that the teams take seriously. Coaches also see it as an opportunity to train their teams to thrive in high-stress situations like the NCAA tournament.

So, make sure if you’re betting a college basketball game that you check to see if it is part of a tournament or not. If it is, you might see a lot of extra effort coming from the teams pushing to get a win and build that experience for March Madness.

Amateurs vs. Professionals

The last thing we want to point out as a difference between the NBA and college basketball is the players in the NBA are professionals, and the players in college basketball are amateurs. Some of them are aspiring professionals, but they are still amateurs and lack a lot of the experience that the pros have.

This plays into betting because amateurs sometimes struggle in high-pressure situations. Professionals have usually been there before and know how to deal with big crowds and pressure to win. But, an 18-year-old kid who has never played in front of more than a couple hundred people might have some issues when they walk into a hostile road arena packed with 20,000+ people.

The takeaway here is that you need to be careful with younger players in college basketball. They’re going to be young kids without a lot of big stage experience. Some are capable of rising to the occasion, but some take a lot longer to learn how to thrive in those conditions. Don’t lose a bet because you bet on a team that was too young and too green in a new environment.

March Madness Betting

We would happily go to battle arguing that march is one of the greatest times in all of sports, specifically in college basketball. March Madness is one of the most exciting times for college basketball fans and for college basketball bettors. With all this opportunity to make money, where do you get started? How do you ensure that you give yourself the best chances of walking out of the month and the tournament a winner?

Well, we’ve got you covered friend. Below, you’ll find a link to our March Madness Betting Guide where we break down everything you need to know to get the most out of this year’s tournament.

Tips and Strategy to Succeed in Betting on Basketball

Below, our team of betting experts has compiled a list of their most effective tips and strategies for betting on basketball. These tips and strategies are relevant to every basketball organization that you can bet including the most popular the NBA and college basketball (NCAA).

Big Home Underdogs

One of the best places that you can look for value when betting on basketball is with big home underdogs. Why? Well, no one likes to get stomped at home. Just because a team is playing in front of their fans doesn’t mean they suddenly know how to play better basketball. But, you can bet that they are going to be more driven to fight for loose balls and win the effort scrambles that present themselves.

This doesn’t usually mean they’re going to magically win the game, but they have a tendency to keep the game closer than expected and cover the spread. We’re not saying to just go out and blindly start betting big double-digit home underdogs. But, what we are saying is that this is a great place to start looking for value. The betting public has a tendency to jump behind big favorites and high-profile teams which means the line here will have a tendency to shift in your favor.

You’re not looking here for a basketball team to win the game outright. All you need them to do is play a little better than projected, keep the game a little closer than expected, and ultimately cover the spread. If you’re stuck on where to start looking for potential value betting on basketball, start by researching big home underdogs.

Road Favorites Coming Off a Big Blowout

Another great spot that you can start looking for value is road favorites coming off a big blowout (talking like double digits). There’s a lot of different things at work here that create a bit of a perfect storm. Let’s break it down. First, the team just got blown out which is embarrassing. You can imagine that they’re going to come out firing in the next game to try and save some face. Basketball players are human too, and nobody wants to be embarrassed.

Second, the team is obviously quality enough to be favored still after a big blowout. This means that the facts on paper say this team just had a bad day at the office and are still the real deal. Third, the betting public loves to overreact to big blowouts. They seem to forget the fact that a team is quality after a big loss which means they tend to bet against them in the next game skewing the line incorrectly and creating a value opportunity.

So, should you blindly bet teams that are road favorites coming off a big double-digit loss? No, but this is a spot that you should heavily look at the betting opportunity. If you run the numbers on these situations in the past, blindly betting on them would have made you wildly profitable. You could probably get away with doing that going forward, but we recommend treating each betting opportunity as a separate game that you fully analyze. It’s never smart to put all your eggs in one basket, but this is a good place to start looking to make a bet.

Study Lineups and Individual Matchups

This might seem like an obvious tip, but we find that most people don’t go deep enough when researching their basketball bets. You need to take some time and start by studying the lineups which includes looking at more than just the starting lineup. What kind of depth does the team have? What happens if someone gets injured? How well would their backups fare against the starting lineup of the other team?

Is anyone injured on the team? You hear when the star players get injured on ESPN, but sometimes you won’t hear about the smaller role players getting hurt. You’ll have to do your own homework to find this information. Is that smaller role player being out reflected in the betting line or are they inconsequential? Remember, some of the stars thrive because of the quality of their support players.

Additionally, you need to start looking at individual matchups. Don’t just look at team versus team, but break down the game by seeing how individual players are going to fare against the competition. You may start to find some individual edges that you would have otherwise overlooked. Basketball betting lines are notoriously tight, so finding small edges here that the rest of the betting public missed is crucial.

High Percentage Shots

Especially in college basketball, you’ll have teams that live and die by the three-point shot. These teams are tough to beat when they’re hitting shots, but they can be ice cold when the ball just can’t seem to find the bottom of the net. What does this have to do with betting on basketball? Be careful betting on teams that live and die by the three-point shot and don’t have any sort of high percentage shot plan to fill in when things aren’t going well.

Betting on teams like this is great when they’re hitting, but teams that can work the ball into the paint and hit higher percentage shots are much more reliable. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t bet on teams that live and die by the three, but you need to be careful to not get carried away with them. Every team has on and off days shooting. These off days have a much bigger effect on teams that shoot the three ball primarily because the margin of error is much higher.

Keep this in mind when you’re making your picks and especially when you’re making futures bets on college basketball teams throughout the tournament. Very few teams with three-point shooting percentages over the league average have ever won the tournament. It works great for a few games, but the second they start to get cold from the arc, things just fall apart. You can bet these type teams for individual games, but they’re typically not a great bet in the futures department.

Look for Tough Schedules and Fatigue

There’s a lot of argument on whether or not the toughness of a team’s schedule is important in basketball. Some say that a tough schedule breeds fatigue which can cause a team to suffer and underperform. Others say that professional basketball players are pros and that they are trained to withstand the tougher schedules, long travel, and the need to always be on their A game.

So, who is right? Well, we like to point out the fact that professional athletes are still humans. They still put their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us. They still have to sleep and get rest to be able to perform. While they probably have a lot of experience dealing with tough schedules and fatigue, it doesn’t just magically go away one day. You don’t develop an immunity to it. If that were the case, mothers would need zero sleep after raising a kid, but that’s just no the case.

This means that you need to take a look at a team’s schedule and their travel plans for a particular game. If they’ve played three games in the last four nights or something crazy like that, you can assume they’re going to be tired. If they’re the favorites, they might push to get the win, but they might struggle to cover the spread because all they care about is the W and then getting their bodies recovered for the next day.

Additionally, look at how far a team has to travel for a particular game. If they’ve been on the road for several games going back and forth across the country, you can bet that they’re going to show some signs of fatigue. Again, don’t just auto-bet a team because they’ve had a tough schedule or a long haul between games. But, this is something you need to weigh in and can be a great spot to look for some value.

As an aside, you’ll notice that at the end of just about every basketball betting tip we have, we tell you that you shouldn’t automatically do anything or throw all your eggs in one basket. Why is this? It’s because betting on basketball requires you to take a look at a bunch of different aspects and then put them together to make one pick. If you are just making your picks based on one factor, you’re making a mistake. You should be taking every one of these tips and factors, building them together, and creating one prediction on how you think a basketball game is going to go. From there, you draw out the bets that you want to make.

Use The Right Type of Bet

Speaking of drawing out the bets that you want to make, it’s important that you utilize the right type of bet when betting on a basketball game, tournament, or season. A lot of bettors think that you can only bet on who is going to win the game, but that’s just not the case. You can bet on a lot of different aspects of a basketball game, and a lot of those don’t have anything to do with who the game-winner is going to be.

While you can certainly use just one type of bet and make a killing betting on basketball, it does help to at least be aware of what your options are. This makes sure that if you ever get a prediction that doesn’t link up with your standard type of bet, you can always pivot and still capitalize on that prediction.

To help you out, we’ve put together a complete guide of the different types of basketball bets. This guide will introduce you to every type of basketball bet available and show you what you need to do to win with each. We highly recommend you take a minute to read through this especially if you are newer to betting on basketball.

Look for Value Bets

The last tip we have is our most important. You have got to be looking for value when you are placing your basketball bets. What does value mean? Value is when you make a wager that pays out better than it should based on the likelihood of that side of the bet occurring. It means that there will be times that you choose not to bet on teams or sides of a bet that you think will win because the payout associated with that team or bet does not offer value. It also means that there will be times where it’s smart to bet on a team or a side of a bet that you think is going to lose just because it’s offering you a much better payout than it should.

This can sometimes be a foreign concept to sports bettors of all skill levels. But, it’s the key to being a long-term basketball betting winner which is our goal with this guide. So, to help get you up to speed on this concept, we’d like to direct you to our Understanding Value and How Betting Lines Work guide. In this guide, we’ll introduce this concept and then break it down piece by piece. It’s an advanced concept, but again, it’s the key to being a long-term basketball betting winner.